Bay leaf

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Fresh leaves and flower buds of Laurus nobilis

Bay leaf (plural bay leaves), (Greek Daphni, Romanian Foi de Dafin) is the aromatic leaf of several species of the Laurel family (Lauraceae). Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance.

  • Laurus nobilis, is a culinary herb often used to flavor soups, stews, and braises and pâtés in Mediterranean Cuisine. The fresh leaves are very mild and do not develop their full flavor until several weeks after picking and drying.
  • California bay leaf
The leaf of the California bay tree (Umbellularia californica), also known as 'California laurel', 'Oregon myrtle', and 'pepperwood', is similar to the Mediterranean bay but has a stronger flavor.
  • "Indian bay leaf" (also tej pat, tejpat, tejpata तेजपत्ता or Tamalpatra तमालपत्र)
The leaf of the Cinnamomum tejpata (malabathrum) tree is similar in fragrance and taste to cinnamon bark, but milder. In appearance, it is similar to the other bay leaves but is culinarily quite different, having an aroma and flavor more similar to that of Cassia. It is inaccurately called a bay leaf as it is of a different genus (though the same family) as the bay laurel.